Kiev Arsenal factory
Kiev Arsenal factory ( _ru. Завод "Арсенал", "Zavod Arsenal") is one of the oldest and most famous industrial factories of the Ukrainian capital
name = Zavod Arsenal
type = State-owned company
foundation = post-WWII period
founder = Soviet government
origins = Kiev Military Arsenal of the
armsequipment, various opticsand precision mechanics products
owner = State of
homepage = zavodarsenal.kiev.ua
Started in 1764 as a repair and production facility of the Russian army it was initially based in a
Kiev fortresscompound in the Pechersk(Печерськ) district of the city. It is now a large state-owned company. Workers at the factory included sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who worked as a grinder at the factory prior to 1941.
The Revolution and World War II events
January 29, 1918, the workers of the factory organized an armed pro- Bolshevikmutiny known as a Kiev Arsenal mutinyor a "January Rebellion" against Tsentral'na Rada, the Ukrainian assembly that declared the independence of Ukraine. To commemorate the event, the Soviet authorities preserved the historic defensive wall bearing the traces of shelling (situated on the city's "Moskovs'ka Street" near the "Arsenal'na" metro station).
While the civil production lines were added to the factory starting from 1918, the factory produced mostly the military related products throughout its history. In the 1920s, 1930s and during the
World War IIthe factory mainly produced the artillery, anti-tankand anti-aircraftguns. In summer 1941, immediately after the outbreak of the war between the Soviet Union and the axis powers, the factory was quickly evacuated to the Russian city of Permin the Ural mountainsfar away from hostilities. The factory buildings in Kiev suffered heavy damages from German bombings. The relocated "Arsenal" continued to play a major role in the arming of the Nazi-fighting Red Army.
After the war, the Arsenal was practically built anew at its Kiev location and partly converted into a
civilcompany named "Zavod Arsenal" (while the other, smaller, part remained an unremarkable militaryrepairing facility under a different name). Since that time, the name "Arsenal" is mostly associated with the larger company rather than with the military one (occupying the oldest building of old arsenal). During the Cold War arms race, Arsenal developed dramatically, becoming an important manufacturer of the military-related products and employing tens of thousands of people. The factory mainly specialized in optical components for the Soviet military and space programs. The factory also produced the professional grade photographic cameras"Kiev" but civil production played only a minor role in factory output. Tens of thousands of people where employed at the "Arsenal"
Perestroika and independence
After the beginning of the
perestroika, the military orders have dropped drastically and the Arsenal factory fell into a still ongoing crisis. The management attempts to convert the factory by concentrating more on the consumer optics and other civil products did little to help the factory to emerge from the crisis. Comparatively insignificant figures of civil production sales could not support the employment of military-specialized workers in such numbers and maintain the gigantic premises.
After the beginning of Kiev's economic growth in the mid-1990s, the company found itself a significant
real estateholder in an elite commercial and administrative district. The company's real estate, rather than largely deteriorated equipment and expertise, became its major asset. However, the industrial activities (both civil and arms-related) continue to this day. The modern day military equipment produced at the Arsenal is mostly imported by Russiafor its military and space program needs. The factory civil production includes consumer optics, medical and banking equipment, gauges for the natural gasand optical diode-based traffic lights.
Art museum project
In 2004, a Ukrainian oligarch and art
philanthropist Viktor Pinchuksuggested to establish a modern artgallery in the oldest 19th century building of Arsenal. This large fortress-looking brickstructure, situated on the "Tsitadel'na Street" and recognized as architecturalmonument, now belongs to Ukrainian military and is poorly maintained. Later, Viktor Yushchenko, the President of Ukraine, expressed his support to the museum idea but suggested that the museum had to be state-run and dominated by more traditional art pieces in order to become a "Ukrainian Hermitage". The process of converting the building to a civil use is underway while the nature of the museum is still discussed.
* [http://www.zavodarsenal.kiev.ua/ zavodarsenal.kiev.ua] - Official website uk icon/en icon/ru icon
* [http://www.archunion.com.ua/gradsovet_06_01_11.html archunion.com.ua] - Plans for the construction of an art museum ru icon
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